Coinbase Exchange Review
Coinbase Cryptocurrency Review
Trust Score: 9/10
It goes without saying that cryptocurrencies have been the focus of a lot of media attention over the last year and this has led to increased exposure and many more people looking at investing in them. With interest now at boiling point, there is a need for some safe and secure exchanges that can provide customers with the top-class quality of service that they demand.
There are a number of cryptocurrency exchanges out there that are far from safe, secure and more importantly honest, so it is even more important that big names such as Coinbase step up to the plate and show there are also some that can be relied upon.
Coinbase is one of the popular exchanges around and that is saying something as there are now so many of them to choose from. Launched back in 2012, this San Francisco based exchange has since overseen the exchange of more than $40 billion in cryptocurrencies via its platform.
Where Coinbase stands out is in the quality of service that it provides, the ability for users to purchase currencies using credit cards, having one of the best reputations in the sector and for developing an app that lets traders do their thing from anywhere that has an internet connection.
Coinbase gives users the ability to buy, sell and trade Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin, arguably the three biggest cryptocurrencies on the market and does so while also providing them with one of the most secure platforms in the sector.
Find out more about Coinbase and why they are one of the best options for trading cryptocurrencies by reading the remainder of this in-depth review.
In order to help players stay in the loop regarding their investments and trades, Coinbase has an excellent standalone app version of their platform. Downloadable for both Android and iOS mobile devices, this app will let you buy, sell and transfer you cryptocurrencies from your smartphone or tablet no matter where you are.
There are not that many exchanges that have actually produced apps, which is something that we are always amazed by. So for Coinbase to do so, is another big feather in their cap as many mobile users are going to prioritize this exchange over the rest.
- Trading on the go
- Analyze markets and monitor your investments
While Coinbase has often admitted plans to add more coins to their exchange at some point in the future, they currently only give players the ability to purchase, sell and trade with Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.
To be fair, these are probably the biggest names in the world of crypto but with so many other currencies now starting to make a push – we do expect Coinbase to start offering some of them in the near future.
Registering at Coinbase
Creating an account at Coinbase is very simple initially, as all you need to do is provide your name, email address and a password you wish to use. As you might expect, you are then asked to verify your email address via a link in an email they send you.
Once your email is verified, you are asked to choose the type of account you want to create. This will either be an individual account or a business account.
In order to provide you with the best level of security for your wallet on Coinbase, they require you to provide your phone number so that they can set up two-factor verification on your account.
- Account creation easy to do
- 2-factor authentication recommended
Verification at Coinbase
Coinbase is based in the US and is, therefore, a regulated financial service. For this reason, they are required to comply with KYC (know your customer) and AML (anti-money laundering) laws.
This means that they will be required to verify the identity of the users on their platforms if they wish to continue providing their services.
Verification will usually require you to upload a picture of your government-issued ID and also a ‘selfie’ pic of yourself as well. There may also be requirements to prove your address as well.
- Verification done for KYC and AML purposes
- ID and selfie required
Making a Purchase on Coinbase
When you have your account ready and set up how you like it, you are now ready to get trading by purchasing some cryptocurrency on Coinbase.
This is easy to do as you just have to select the currency you wish to buy having searched for the trade that is the cheapest for you. Coinbase will give you all of the details regarding the transaction such as the fee and how much of the currency you are buying and will ask you to confirm if you are happy with them.
Once completed, the cryptocurrency will arrive in your wallet and will be ready for you to trade, sell or transfer to your personal wallet.
- Buying and selling made easy to do
- Details of transaction made clear
Accepted Payment Methods
Users at Coinbase have two different options when it comes to payment methods. They can either go for bank transfers which can take a number of business days but are free or they can credit cards which are generally instant but require much larger fees.
The exact time that each method takes will depend on the method chosen and the location of the user. An example would be that Bank Transfers in the US can take between four and five days to complete while from Europe they can be a bit quicker at between one and three days.
If you are based in the US, you can also take advantage of the Shift card. This is a debit card that US users can use in a number of states to not only transfer Bitcoin to and from their Coinbase account but also spend their Bitcoin in any place where Visa is a recognized form of payment. This means you could go out for a meal or put gas in your car and use Bitcoin to pay for it. The best part is that there are absolutely no fees that you will have to pay.
- Bank transfer
- Credit cards
The fees that users can expect to pay on Coinbase will range between anything as low as 1.49% and as high as 3.99% on the transactions completed on the platform. These fees will depend on the particular payment method that you are using and where you are located.
As you might expect, the higher end of those fees will be attached to any transactions that you do with the use of credit cards. Bank transfers and wire transfers are the cheapest and in some cases a free method of transacting with Coinbase.
These fees are more than competitive, especially compared to some of their more direct rivals such as Coinmama or CEX. You will more than likely be able to find cheaper fees but there is a good chance that the exchange you find them on will not be anywhere near as safe or trustworthy as Coinbase.
You can get a full break down of their fees by checking out the dedicated page that describes them all for you.
- Competitive fees
- Bank transfer cheaper but take more time
The transaction limits on your account will depend heavily on whether you have verified your identity, your country of residence and your chosen payments methods.
Seeing what your current limits are set is easy as this information can be found by going to the ‘accounts limits’ page in your account.
If you wanted to increase these limits you would have to get your account verified much how we mentioned previously in this article. An example of the limits you can expect if verified is the ability to make transactions of up to $50k per week or have the ability to hold up to $30k in the Coinbase account at any time.
- Limits dependant on different factors
- Limits increase upon account verification
There are limitations on the residents of particular countries with only those from the following being allowed to trade on Coinbase:
- The Czech Republic
- The Netherlands
- San Marino
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
There are 32 countries in total above that are allowed to trade on Coinbase and while this number could grow over the years, if you are not a resident in one of them – you will have to go elsewhere, unfortunately.
Coinbase has always been known for providing a decent level of customer service but they could do better in providing different methods such as telephone and live chat support.
They currently offer email support, an F.A.Q page and provide a lot of information via their knowledge base. Response times via email are usually very quick but in recent months (possibly due to the fluctuations over December) there have been a few reports of them being a bit slow with replies coming between 24 and 72 hours after sending.
When we tested them out we actually got quite a quick response with it being well within 16 hours but having read reviews and forums – this is not always the case.
- 24/7 email support
- Extensive F.A.Q page
For many that have not yet made the forage into cryptocurrencies and even for those that have, there is the common worry over the safety of their currencies. This is completely understandable in a largely unregulated sector but Coinbase is regarded as being among the most secure platforms out there right now.
Being based in the US certainly helps as there are state and federal laws that it has to abide by. When you consider that some exchanges across Asia and other regions do not have regulations that are nearly as strict.
Coinbase has always been very open about the methods it uses to store funds and assets, with them claiming that 98% of players cryptocurrencies are stored offline. They also keep all customer funds in separate accounts to operational funds and as such, these customer funds are protected even if insolvency were to occur.
You also have to consider that they have a reputation that has lead to major banks such as the Bank of Tokyo and BBVA investing in Coinbase.
- Adheres to US state and federal laws
- Customer funds kept separate from operational funds
At the end of the day, if you are looking for as risk-free an introduction to cryptocurrency trading as possible or basically just somewhere you can trust, Coinbase is where you should be going.
Operating out of the US which regulates exchanges, you should instantly feel much safer about making a few investments. Furthermore, with an excellent reputation among its users, you can also be sure that you are in trustworthy hands.
Even if you look past the safety aspect, Coinbase excels in so many other areas as well. It has an excellent app, some very competitive fees and you can even purchase cryptocurrencies with a credit card – something that not all exchanges are able to provide their customers.
Sure, it might not offer the number of coins that other exchanges can but it has the big three and for many – that Is what will be all that matters.
If you wanted to trade for some altcoins or other cryptocurrencies, there are plenty of exchanges that will allow you to do so. When trading with your Bitcoins and Ethereum however, you will want to make sure that you are using the very best platform to do so – and in our eyes, Coinbase is definitely one of them.